Matt Fontana

Able to perform minister at your next event.

I'm 43 and I play, write and have, in the past, rearranged Contemporary Christian Music on guitar since Easter Sunday (April 12) 2009. I've been an acoustic guitarist for almost 12 years; I've been a drummer for 29 years and have played keys for 32 (gospel organ for 24); I also write gospel music. I'm available for events, concerts and gospel workshops and events. Please contact me here, [email protected] or [email protected]






What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music, to me, is a way to give people another way to enjoy and sing what they already know. In my approach to recreate messages and hymns, it is important for me--actually it's important for any music minister--to keep the message the same and relevant. In what I've shared this Christmas (21 songs: 14 of them written prior to the start of my "tour", one before the second concert in my tour and six written between 2015 and last year) I made sure the message got across as it was supposed to, while I arranged the new melody and used my own lyrics, as opposed to just adding a tag onto the original composition. When I wrote my first Contemporary Christian praise and worship song (which right now is stuck), I made sure that the message did not differ, even though I used different lyrics to relate it to the listener or worship individual.

What is your music dream?

My music dream is to be able to rock the stage, sharing a love for Jesus Christ, with a full band for contemporary praise and worship and with a full ensemble and mass choir for gospel music.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

I would start with myself and help people find out what it takes within them

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

My first most memorable song would be "It's a Miracle" by Culture Club. Before that, 9 to 5 was a song I liked a lot. A song that proved to be a big influence in my life now is "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel. The unique thing about Sledgehammer is even though I watched the video, heard the song on the radio and noticed the difference between the radio and MTV version (I was 9 at the time), I never tried to sing the song then...and I learned all the words from hearing the song again two years ago and have been rocking along with that tune ever since!

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

My utmost favorite jazz artist is Pat Metheny; I also like Stan Kenton and Dizzy! When it comes to rock, I'll listen to and jam along with anything on Rocky 99.1 (Johnstown, PA), but some songs that have stood above the crowd are "Comfortably Numb" (because I also like to arrange for drum corps), "November Rain" (another classic to rock the filed with to bring the grandstands down) and "Dr. Feelgood"!

What inspires you to make music?

God inspires me...and I take the music and record it, on paper or audibly, even possibly on Finale. It makes things a lot easier to build on.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

I want to send the message about Jesus Christ, in His coming by birth; and the message through His presence on earth, death burial and resurrection. I want to relate messages, throughout some of the stories in these moments shared in the Bible, to the listener.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

I feel okay. When I'm on the stage, it's just between me and the execution of the music. It came down to one thing, this holiday season (three simple words): "Take Your Time". I seriously had to quit rushing through the music and allow the song to take its course. I made less mistakes, felt more relaxed with the harder numbers (two finger picking songs) and executed a lot better.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

The musicians' reality, and in some cases the listeners' reality, might be in some cases stuck in a time warp. More execution of the music styles that the listener may not hear as much new material of these days, can be a reality if they put their minds to it.

What do you think of Drooble?

Drooble is a great way to share with others the kind of musician/musical artist you are. I liked the fact that I was able to instantly share the music I've written with the general audience on the website.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

The thing that is the most frustrating is my expectancy to be at a higher level by now and the fact that I have to keep starting over again, in the manner of transferring from ministry to ministry. What helps in curbing that frustration is being to continue progression, no matter what caliber of excellence achieved or not achieved with others, as a songwriter and a solo artist in a way that I've gotten more ideas from God than I thought I would.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Yes. There are plenty of local artists that I enjoy listening to in the Johnstown/Somerset, PA area. There's a lot of great talent in this area.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

The most important quality is the performer's knowledge of his/her need to understand what they're doing on the stage. One of my bad habits in the past was to just get on stage without reviewing the music enough in order to eliminate the possibility of making mistakes. I had paid attention to what I was doing and knew when I had messed up, even though the crowd didn't know what I was playing, because it was all original. The execution of some of my music was too fast. I'm not ashamed to say it: when I prepared this past holiday season's tour, I put an all caps note on the top of my music stand which told me, "TAKE YOUR TIME"...and it worked! Hahahaha. Another equally important quality is allowing the song to do its work, which plays in to the performer's knowledge and awareness of their execution on the stage. If I would have kept trying to drive the music myself and not letting the song run its course with my only responsibility being maintence of control, I would have never been happy with the outcome of playing the music.